A Collaborative Approach by NGOs and Industry to Test the Proactive Vessel Register (PVR) of ISSF for Small Scale Fisheries in Indonesia

16 Apr 2015
Indah Rufiati

Asosiasi Perikanan Pole and Line dan Hand Line Indonesia (AP2HI; Pole and Line and Handline industry association) are coordinating a new pilot in Indonesia, which aims to test the validity of the proactive vessel register (PVR), of International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and purse seine fisheries fame, for smaller artisanal fisheries. ISSF, the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), Masyarakat dan Perikanan Indonesia (MDPI) are supporting the implementation of the pilot on the ground within specific handline and pole and line tuna fisheries in Eastern Indonesia. Financial support for the implementation of this project comes from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and our industry partner Cloverleaf, Canada.

For those unfamiliar, the PVR is a platform which was developed in order to provide vessel owners with an opportunity to identify themselves as active participants in fishery sustainability efforts. As a participant to the PVR a vessel must commit to a list of compulsory commitments which they agree to complete or undertake, all of which aim towards sustainable practices in tuna fisheries. The platform then provides validated information to tuna purchasers and interested stakeholders that reflect the positive steps each vessel is taking in implementing a series of commitments designed to improve tuna fishing practices. By tracking compliance by individual vessel – validated through third-party auditing – the PVR offers all interested stakeholders with the credible information they seek to inform their programs, procurement and decisions.

It has been noted that the PVR has until recently predominantly been used by the purse seine industry and at that focuses on large vessel but a relatively low number of these… so we asked the questions… is the PVR relevant for small scale fisheries? does the opportunity exist for handline and pole and line vessels (gears already commended for their ability to conduct sustainable fishing practices) to tell their story with regards to their effort ‘to do the right thing’?

The pilot has just kicked off last month (March, 2015) in Indonesia and initial sites for testing will be Bitung, Larantuka and Ambon with a mixture of handline and pole and line fisheries, with vessels ranging from small to medium scale. 2 MDPI staff will be tasked to gather vessel registration from a large number of AP2HI member vessels as well as spread the word on the PVR, its benefits, objectives and implementation. The various commitments which are required by the PVR, for example one which requires vessels to agree to and implement a shark finning policy, will be communicated and outlined for the skippers/boat owners to support implementation by AP2HI. As the project progresses we aim to allocate each vessel with a unique vessel identifier (UVI) code and for the data to be entered into the existing I-Fish system and hence centralize industry data submission.

We are excited about this project and feel like it has great potential to start tackling some of the bigger issues which the Indonesian government is currently prioritizing, namely IUU issues, getting a realistic view on capacity in the territorial waters, vessel registration and flag state allocation. Report back to www.mdpi.or.id; http://iss-foundation.org/our-focus-blog/; http://ipnlf.org/; http://ap2hi.org/ and http://www.cloverleaf.ca/en/sustainability for continuous updates from Indonesia!

Writer: Indah Rufiati

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